By Benjamin Pearson
CALGARY — Through a fusion of death metal and experimental elements such as Latin jazz and ’70s groove, French quintet Gorod has developed a dynamic soundscape that is entirely unique. The compositions are complex and melodically intricate, yet they progress holistically. Herein, you can feel the architect at work. Gorod’s music crashes over their listeners with a wave of acutely timed, chugging rhythmic progressions, intricate melodic hooks and commanding guttural vocals. The lower register of drums, bass and rhythm guitar provide the perfect framework for a steady flow of crisp neo-classical riffs to accent and complete the compositions. The result is some of the most engaging and melodically interesting listening available in modern death metal.
“The point is to be constantly looking back to the songs entirety, not focusing on only one part of it and just filling out the rest of the song with gratuitous technical stuff,” explains guitarist Mathieu Pascal, who caught up with BeatRoute via email.
“I think the listeners don’t like and don’t need to be constantly surprised and brutalized, musically. On the contrary, maybe they prefer to ‘ride’ the music, following the flow more than fighting it.”
Continues Pascal: “It’s actually the structure of the song that’s memorable, not the details or the individual sections inside. There are some basic structures used in popular and mainstream music that can work for any style, even death metal. And oddly, you can stay surprising and original when following one of these basic song structures.”
Gorod continues to lead the way in the world of extreme music with the release of their fifth studio album, A Maze of Recycled Creeds. Released in October 2015, the album continues their consistent lineage of innovation.
“There are some influences in this album I never use that much, like old school thrash metal, groove elements from the ‘70s, and odd chord progressions that I picked up from Erik Satie, a French piano composer and a character in the lyrics, that I really dig. Another thing is that we did this album all by ourselves, from the writing to the production, only helped by some close friends, like Pierre Yves Marani for the mastering or Eric Liberge for the artwork. The result is that we had all the necessary time to achieve and refine all sides of the album, looking for the perfect note, drum groove, but also perfect sound and balance,” offers Pascal.
This genre melding and integration has long been a notable and prevalent aspect of Gorod, but it some time for the band to be comfortable with the process.
“These influences are more and more noticeable now, but they were included in the music from the beginning,” agrees Pascal.
“I always wanted to mix these exotic vibes with metal, so I had to learn the good way of making it musically cohesive and relevant.”
He concludes, “It’s a challenge to find something fresh and new on each album, always being surprising and unexpected. But it’s also what motivates us the most in making music.”
Gorod plays at Vangelis Tavern in Saskatoon on April 6th, in Calgary at Dickens on April 7th, at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on April 8th, at the Brixx in Edmonton on April 11th, at the Exchange in Regina April 12th, and at the Windsor Hotel in Winnipeg on April 13th. All dates include Bokakee; Beyond Creation will also perform on select dates.AB, Alberta, BC, British Columbia, Brixx Bar, Dickens, Gorod, Manitoba, MB, The Exchange, Vangelis Tavern, Vogue Theatre, Windsor Hotel